Is a Wider View of the Abortion Debate Possible?

The answer to that question is “no” if you listen to the mainstream media’s partisan positioning. But I was struck today by the shortcomings of Mike Shedlock’s attempt to parse the issue. If someone of his high caliber struggles to frame abortion with adequate depth, then America will continue to tear itself apart.

Here’s the comment I posted to his website ……

I’m still waiting for a pundit to approach the abortion question with the perspective necessary for a deeper understanding.

Haven’t seen it yet.

Instead, we get emotion, opinion, and partisan positioning. (Though, it’s difficult to criticize either side for the emotion it feels.)

It seems likely that where a society, or an individual, comes down on this issue is never a direct decision. Instead, it’s a downstream consequence of the answer to other, more fundamental questions.

For example, here’s a question a century-and-a-half in the making: Will America continue to move toward becoming a maternal-centric society? (…… a move that began in the mid-nineteenth century.) Or will our country return to its earlier, more paternalistic roots?

This question affects many issues, one of which involves the acceptability of intra-society killing (example: abortion) versus the acceptability of inter-society killing (example: war).

One of the ancient human ironies is that maternal cultures, despite all their compassion, have typically condoned the killing of their own youths, right up until the rites of passage into adulthood, while paternalistic cultures that celebrated the killing of alien tribes’ members rarely countenanced the killing of their own youths.

If you can’t wrap your head around this pattern, read Joseph Campbell or Marija Gimbutas.

The maternal versus paternal duality is so deeply embedded in the human condition as to have become inescapable. Our ancestors have passed it down to us in a form that is now described as “liberal” versus “conservative”, represented by the two national political parties. But it’s so much older than the current debate.

Has any pundit examined this?

Taken further, have any of them assessed how resource abundance (versus scarcity) affects a culture’s tendency to tip toward the maternal (versus the paternal)?

In other words, can peak oil impact our society’s decisions about abortion more than a few aging lawyers in black robes? Is it really a coincidence that this issue has come to the fore as supply lines have disrupted? Can Mish’s libertarian leanings fit into a comprehensive framework that accommodates abortion’s orientation toward the society’s conscience?

No one has been looking into such questions. Maybe it’s time someone did.

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